The Challenge

The goal of this Amazon Raise-Up Buildathon was to create a solution using AWS that will support nonprofits. We chose the Nonprofit Fundraising Goal challenge, which required solutions that help nonprofits to reach donors and produce donations.

The Problem

Fundraising requires nonprofits to invest time and resources, and it can be difficult for organizations to reach new and existing donors. As a result, it can be challenging to establish consistent donation flows. Since nonprofits rely on donations and grants to be able to provide their services, a lack of donations in turn could affect the quality of their programming and the extension of their outreach. Another fundraising problem is a lack of nonprofit awareness. Potential donors don’t know much about the nonprofits in their community and are unaware that they can support organizations beyond a large one-time donation.

Goal & The User

Based on the hackathon requirements and the problem we’re seeking to alleviate, our goal was to build a product that helps nonprofits increase their donor base and increase donations. To do so, we wanted to create a solution that helps connect donors to nonprofits and expedite the donation process.
There would be two primary users of the app: the nonprofit employees and the donors. We focused on the donors for product development and user flows.

Solution (What it Does)

We created a mobile app solution that helps users discover nonprofits, learn about the organization, and make a donation. Nonprofits receive these extra funds and donor data to use in donor campaigns.

The app supports nonprofit fundraising through the following ways:

  • Users can find nonprofits based on cause area, ratings, location, and suggestions, helping them to discover new nonprofits that they normally wouldn’t know about.
  • Users can go to individual nonprofit profile pages and make a donation or read about the organization. Using information from Charity Navigator, users can learn about the nonprofit and make an informed decision about their giving. With a clear Donation CTA button, users can easily navigate to the donation process.
  • The app allows users to make a one-time donation or to sign up for monthly donations. Nonprofits have the opportunity to receive a steady stream of incoming donations through recurring monthly payments.
  • Users can keep track of their own donation activity, and they can also see the donation activity of their friends. By seeing their friends’ donations and which organizations they donate to, users will be incentivized to donate more and to learn about the nonprofits their peers support.
  • Through their profile page, users can update their preferences and list their favorite cause areas and nonprofits. These features will customize the nonprofit list display to their personal preferences, which in turn will help them find nonprofits that match their interests and that they’d be more likely to donate to.
  • Inspiration

    The inspiration for the app came from a number of different sources. The social activity feed was inspired by Venmo’s payment activity feed. The nonprofit profile page drew a lot of inspiration and information from Charity Navigator. Google and Eventbrite inspired the nonprofit listings page.

    Accomplishments & Learnings

    With only two teammates (and no front end developer), we’re proud of the fact that we were able to complete this challenge and make a product that we’re excited about. Every step in our project journey was a learning opportunity and we learned a lot throughout the hackathon.

    No-Code App Builder

    We experimented with several No-Code app builders, including the Amazon HoneyCode and selected AppGyver as our choice as it integrates well with API calls and has native deployment capability. We built a NodeJS API with Fastify framework to serve charity data and deploy to AWS Lambda to serve as the backend for the AppGyver front end. The integration works well, but we ran out of time to refine the UI components and the app workflow.

    What's next for Charité

    • Further develop the app
    • Test and iterate
    • Down the road, we’d love to expand Charité to include fundraising events and offer mobile ticketing (like an Eventbrite for nonprofits).
    • Contact

      Calvin Pak: calvinpak@gmail.com
      LeAnne Plaisted: leanne.plaisted@gmail.com

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